Mankato businesswoman ranks high in Forbes contest

April Femrite, who runs the Naturally Bamboo fiber clothing business in Mankato, is a top competitor in a business-boosting contest run by Forbes.com.

She currently ranks third among 20 semi-finalists in the contest, which lets site visitors judge the business pitches of entrepreneurs. Each gets a 500-word written pitch and a 30-second “elevator pitch” to win over voters.

In her written pitch, Femrite lists her company goals:

1. Align my company with social and environmental organizations that support our mission of taking care of people, planet and profit.
2. Create as many local jobs as possible and build a workplace that is fair, fun and flexible.
3. Partner with local school groups to teach them about manufacturing careers
4. Expand Naturally Bamboo to include a children’s line.
5. Continually strive to be more sustainable–build a great product while cutting carbon emissions, using less water, land and energy resources, generating the least waste possible.
6. Become a profitable entity by operational year three, and achieve $5 million in sales by year five.

Semi-final voting to pick five finalists runs through Sept. 30. The winner will get $50,000 in cash and $50,000 in advertising in Forbes.com.

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